Sunday, 17 June 2012

Agedashi Japanese Tofu

Posted by Kim Fong On 11:42 am

There is no other way of describe this dish but “Mmm tasty treat!”. I love Agedashi tofu whenever I go out for Japanese food. I probably could keep eating it all day. With our favourite local Japanese restaurant closed down, it's time to try making this myself. It makes great comfort food. I served this with some terriyaki chicken and bok choy over brown rice. As you can see below, I didn’t completely deep fry it, so don’t be afraid to try this, as you don’t need heaps of oil.

This recipe comes from the Woman's Weekly Japanese Cookbook. I know not very … authentic. But its given me some good results in the past. Obviously, I’ve made modifications. Hope you enjoy!

1 packet of firm silken tofu (I found the Fortune Brand quite good – if you’re in Australia)
1/4 cup potato flour (you can also use wheat corn starch if you don’t have potato flour on hand)
1/2 cup olive (or vegetable) oil for frying
Bonito flakes to serve (optional)

3/4 cup dashi (Japanese seaweed stock) you can also use powdered vegetable stock if you don’t have dashi. You can get instant dashi from your local asian grocer.
3 tblspn mirin (I don’t think you can really substitute mirin with anything else. A must have for many Japanese dishes)
3 tblspn soy sauce
1 tblspn miso paste
1/2 tspn sugar

1. Prepare broth
Combine all broth ingredients in a small pot. Heat over medium until it comes to a boil and sugar and miso paste has dissolved. Set aside.

2. Drain tofu package of liquid. If not already, slice up into squares. Heat oil in pan over medium to high heat.

3. While waiting for oil to heat, on a plate add a few spoons of potato starch.

Tip! You can tell the oil is read if you place a wooden chopstick/spoon in the oil, it bubbles around the chopstick. Alternatively drop a bit of flour in the oil and it bubbles up.

4. With a paper towel, pat dry a tofu square to remove excess liquid. Then roll the tofu on the plate of potato starch to light coat.
5. Gently place tofu in the oil. Be sure not to crowd the pan. Flip tofu after a minute or two. It should look just golden. After another minute or so remove from oil and drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil then into serving dish. Don't leave on paper towel as it will start sticking as it cools.

Repeat steps 4 to 5 for remaining tofu. If you find the oil level dropping, add more oil to the pan between batches, not during as this disrupts the temperature of the oil and will results in uneven and soggy Agedashis. If you do add more oil, be sure to bring it upto hot temperature before starting a new batch.

6. To serve, laddle the both over the tofu and place some bonito flakes on to. Serve immediately and watch the little bonito flakes dance!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Beef Phở(o) Fusion

Posted by Kim Fong On 9:04 pm

The rain has really settled in Sydney this weekend, as winter rears its head around for 2012. As usual, my mood for noodle soup has resurfaced. I made this recipe up – I don't think it's too much straying away from the traditional phở recipe. Although simpler, I feel a bit guilty using pre-made stock. At least it's not from powder and the packet was soon expiring.  

What makes this fusion? I’ll let you read the recipe below, but there is miso paste, apple cider vinegar, Chinese cabbage, button mushrooms and vermicelli noodles.

1 litre of beef stock
1 cup of water
1.5 tblspn fish sauce
1 tblspn oyster sauce
2 star anise pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 large onion – roughly chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic – minced
5 thickly slices of ginger
1 – 1.5 tblspn miso paste (I used a dashi flavoured one)
1/2 tspn crushed peppercorns
1 cup of celery leaves
1 tblpsn apple cider vinegar
2 medium button mushroom – quartered
250g sirloin beef steak – thinly sliced
5 or so outer leaves of a chinese cabbage head – finely chopped. Separate the leafy and stalky bits.
2 tblspn chopping coriander leaves (I used dried as I didn’t have any fresh)
200g dried vermicelli noodles

1. In a large pot, add stock, water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, star anise, cinnamon sticks, onions, garlic, ginger, miso paste, peppercorns, celery leaves. On high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Add mushrooms and stalky cabbage bits and continue to simmer until mushrooms are cooked. Turn heat off (you can keep it simmering on low until you’re ready to serve).

3. In a large bowl put dried vermicelli noodles and pour boiling hot water to just cover. Allow to soften – about 5 or 10 minutes. Drain, set aside.

4. Just before serving, put beef slices into broth. The remaining heat will cook the meat.

5. To serve, put in bowls leafy cabbage then vermicelli noodles. Then add meat and hot broth and its contents. Serve with fresh sliced chilli (if you fancy it).

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